WA beauties Face-off for modelling crown

She has been dubbed the favourite to win the first series of Foxtel's reality model quest, The Face Australia - and now Perth model Sarah Tilleke is closer than ever to claiming victory after cementing her place in the finals.

The 18-year-old beauty was among three WA models, including Ruth Willmer and Olivia Donaldson, announced among the top five finalists in last night's episode, which saw Team Cheyenne Tozzi's model Nikolina Kovacevic leave the competition.

"It was pretty exciting that we were all in the top five together," an excited Tilleke told AAA. "Me, Liv and Ruth were like 'Wow this is amazing', we are all so happy."

But before the unveiling of the final five, which also includes Yaya Deng and Chantal Monaghan, the remaining six models were faced with their toughest challenge yet.

The girls were given 15 minutes to nail one shot during a whirlwind photo shoot as part of an upcoming campaign launch for luxury car brand Lexus.

As part of the shoot, the girls were lifted in to the air by a harness suspended from the ceiling and had just a few seconds to nail a graceful mid-air pose.

Tilleke, who is signed with Perth agency Vivien's, said it was by far the most difficult feat she has ever accomplished in her modelling career.

"It was one of the biggest challenges we've done so far and, I don't know about the other girls, but I've never had to model while jumping in the air strapped to a harness before," she said.

"A lot of the challenges we've done so far, we've kind of had experience with, but this last challenge before the final five just threw a complete curve ball at you. So it was nerve-racking to really have to go for it."

Luckily for Tilleke, she scraped through the challenge unscathed, although the daunting shoot was won by fellow Vivien's Perth model Donaldson, who was given a score of nine out of 10.

While the top five comprises a strong mix of models, Tilleke has been a firm favourite to win from the get-go.

But the humble 18-year-old played down talk that she was the biggest threat in the competition.

"I don't see myself that way at all," she said. "Then when everyone kind of said I was the one to beat, I was just like 'Oh my God'.

"I was just stressing myself out trying to get through each episode. But to know that people have got their eye on you, it makes you a bit more nervous and the pressure is definitely amped up even more."

Speaking of her mentor, feisty British supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tilleke said she was thankful for the 43-year-old's "tough love" throughout the competition.

"I went into the competition expecting to be terrified by her but, off camera, she's so loving," Tilleke said.

"I think because of that behind- the-scenes support, you know that when she's being tough on camera, she's not trying to bring you down, she's just trying to push you to do your best."

Next week, the top five will be whittled down to three girls who will compete in the grand finale to become the inaugural winner of The Face Australia and ambassador of Fresh Effects by Olay.

The Face Australia final airs Tuesday, May 6, at 6.30pm on pay-TV channel FOX8.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West